3/1 quote on value of public domain-Burns
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Subject: 3/1 quote on value of public domain|
From: GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 01 Mar 00 - 12:02 PM
"These old Scottish airs are so nobly sentimental, that when one would compose to them, to 'south the tune,' as our Scotch phrase is, over and over, is the readiest way to catch the inspiration, and raise the bard into that glorious enghusiasm so strongly characteristic of our old Scotch poetry."
(Robert Burns's "Commonplace Book", quoted in The Complete Works of Robert Burns, Ed. Alexander Smith, Crowell, New York, 1887, p. 298.)
How many of Burns's songs would we NOT have if Burns's publishers (Thompson and Johnson) had had to clear the copyright for EVERY air ?
A report on the NINCH's (National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage) January 11, 2000 Town Meeting on the Public Domain can be found here
Subject: RE: 3/1 quote on value of public domain|
Date: 04 Mar 00 - 11:26 AM
As is well known, Burns also made use of other authors' words as well as using others' tunes.
The following occurs in the Herd collection of 1776 (2,206):
Some will court and compliment,
John, come kiss me now, now, now,
Burns copied and transformed it to:
O some will court and compliment
O John, come kiss me now, now, now
O some will court and compliment,
So don't believe those who try to assert that writers never build on other writers' "expression", only on their "ideas". (These are technical terms from copyright jurisprudence). As the example above shows, this would be wrong even if the line between "idea" and "expression" were easy to draw.